football

Notre Dame picks up big pledge

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Tee Shepard found everything he liked at Notre Dame and the Fresno (Calif.) Central East defensive back decided to end his busy recruitment by committing to the Irish on Wednesday.
It's a huge pickup for Notre Dame since Shepard is considered one of the top defensive backs in the West and he's already been invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
"He talked to (defensive backs coach) Tony Perry about it, he talked to his parents about it and he talked to me about it," Fresno Central East coach Casey Quinn said. "Tee is really excited.
"It is a strong commitment. He likes the tradition, he likes the new direction of the program and he felt comfortable talking to the coaches.
"It's a good fit academically and everything about Notre Dame he enjoys. He's jumping on this opportunity and he's really excited about it."
Shepard, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect who's included in the Rivals 250 to watch list for 2012, blew up at the Palo Alto NIKE Camp last spring and has steadily picked up offers since then.
Notre Dame, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Cal, Colorado, Miami, Oregon State, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Washington and others have already offered. The Irish had been a favorite for some time and Shepard finally decided to end his recruitment.
"He's fundamentally sound," Quinn said this fall. "He has great hips, he has great feet, he understands routes, he can get a feel for a good receiver and he's physical. He's strong because he understands the fundamentals but he could be even stronger if he gets in the weight room.
"He's a player. He has great eyes. He can read pretty fast and he's very, very physical even though he's not a strong kid yet."
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